Wendy took her last drink on June 4, 2017. This is her story.
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On today’s episode Paul talks about incessantly thinking in the future, why we do that, what that leads to, and how to put that thinking beast back into the cage.
When we are living in the future, we start to feel stress. Once we recognize, and become aware of how often we are future tripping, we can no longer ignore it and the deprograming has already begun. We deprogram first, then we reprogram.
[13:45] Paul introduces Wendy.
Wendy is 57 years old, married and lives in Sun City Center, Florida. She has two sons and one grandson. She works as a critical care nurse which she loves. For fun Wendy loves to be out in nature, exercise, walk, and do yoga. She also has a corgi and participates in dog shows.
[21:45] Give us a background on your drinking.
Wendy took her first drink at the age of 13. After her parents split up, she became her dad’s drinking buddy. She went from using food to stuff down her feelings, to using beer. This continued through her teens, twenties and into her thirties. But it was escalating and she was needing more and more to catch that buzz.
[24:20] Was there a moment that you recognized it was ramping up?
Wendy says she definitely knew that it was getting problematic and that she was having side effects from it. She says that although she didn’t get anything like a DUI, alcohol was taking up too much real estate in her mind.
[25:55] When did you realize it was ramping up?
Wendy says it was in her early 50s. She didn’t really have a rock bottom moment but says she woke up one day and said, “I am done.” She says it was almost like she flipped a switch in her head.
[39:00] What techniques work for you when you are feeling anxiety?
When Wendy first quit drinking she started going to a phycologist, who really helped her in the beginning. One of the things she taught her was HALT, and to never let herself get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. Wendy says she still follows that to this day.
[42:20] How did you get through the first few months?
Wendy says she read a whole lot of quit lit. She joined a support group on Facebook. She has a sobriety tool box and she keeps full.
[47:00] What are the differences between year one and year two?
Wendy says that year one really felt like survival, in a lot of ways, and how to be this new person. Learning how to deal with things without alcohol as a buffer.
Wendy says that the cool thing about year two is that so many of those triggers start to fall away. She says she doesn’t have the voices whispering to her, telling her how great it would be to drink.
[51:15] Rapid Fire Round
- What’s a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey?
That there is an entire world that doesn’t revolve around alcohol.
- What is a memorable moment that a life without alcohol has given you?
The sunrises, being up with the sun and making that connection that life can be a beautiful thing without alcohol.
- What is your favorite alcohol-free drink?
LaCroix sparkling water.
- What are some of your favorite resources on this journey?
Journaling as I mentioned before, I like coloring, artwork and gardening. Having that tool box available in my mind.
- What is on your bucket list in an alcohol-free life?
Definitely more traveling.
- And what parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?
If you think you have a problem, you probably do.
You might need to ditch the booze if…
You pee down your leg, at a gala, at a fancy hotel, because you’re so drunk you can’t wait to get up to the room, and you just act like nothing is wrong.
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